Four Japanese organisations have formed a consortium to develop post-quantum cloud technology that is secure against quantum computer attacks.
Toppan Printing, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), quantum algorithm specialist QunaSys and cybersecurity firm Isara will develop secure processing, communication, storage, and use of data.
The move is not just a response to the roll out of US quantum computers from companies such as D-Wave, Rigetti and IBM (see below) with quantum computing services already available on Amazon Web Sevices, but also the challenge from China. "In the field of quantum cryptography, China is conducting testing on a far greater scale than other nations, and Japan is lagging behind in this respect," said Masahide Sasaki, Distinguished Researcher at the Advanced ICT Research Institute at NICT. European standards group ETSI has also published guidance on post-quantum security,
Post-quantum encryption technologies will be important for the collection, analysis, processing, and use of highly sensitive personal and corporate information accumulated in such fields as medical care, new materials, manufacturing, and finance in public and private cloud infrastructure.
Pilot testing of application software is scheduled to begin during 2022, with limited practical implementation targeted in 2025, and the launch of services planned for 2030. The timing is in part determined by the development of encrpyption standards for post-quantum encryption in the next two years and the asssociated hardware standards. The first quantum-secure point to point networks are already rolling out.
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The group sees practical application of quantum computing technologies around 2030, making it possible to decrypt highly-sensitive communications such as electronic payments and digital application forms containing personal data. Post-quantum encryption technologies will therefore be required as society is faced with the challenge of bolstering security.